The weather may have dampened attendance, but those that showed up were thrilled to check out almost 70 automobiles at this year’s Highlands Motoring Festival’s Cars in the Park at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park on Saturday. Festival Planning Chairperson Steve Ham said there were a lot of cancellations by those who registered, but the Carol Shelby themed car show was deemed a success.
“I was inspired by all the volunteers that showed up in the rain,” said Ham. “We had 68 cars, a lot backed out. I was really impressed by all the support the festival received.”
The 12th Annual Highlands Motoring Festival donates to charities throughout the Plateau, this year’s recipients are The Literacy Council, REACH of Macon County, and the Community Care Clinic. He added that they are hoping to raise $30K this year but the numbers are still being crunched.
Last year the Festival raised $40K, and over the last four years has raised over $140K.
“These charities are all similar in the audience they serve,” said Ham. “It’s great that we can do this, this all started with some guys having fun with cars.”
Community Care Clinic Executive Director Jerry Hermanson said the clinic provides free healthcare to low income and uninsured families.
“This event is critical to us,” said Hermanson. “It goes towards all of our general operating procedures.”
Jacqueline Johnson, Marketing Manager of Ferrari Atlanta, came out to represent as a sponsor of Highlands Motoring Festival.
“It is a great place to meet like-minded car enthusiasts and it is such a fun event, rain or shine,” said Johnson as she attempted to stay dry under her umbrella.
Judy Michaud, owner/broker of Berkshire Hathaway was at the event with several other employees and the office dog, Marlow.
“Motorfest brings a lot of people into town and when I found out that they were in need of local sponsors, I saw a great opportunity for us,” said Michaud. “Marlow loves the rain, so he is happy to be here.”
For the participants who made the trip despite the weather, the event still had the energy and buzz that entices them to enter year after year.
Living in both Largo, Fla. and here in Highlands, Leslie Jeffery did not have to drive far to enter their 1963 Triumph TR-4.
“Even though it seems smaller than other years, we are still enjoying the camaraderie and seeing our friends that we see year after year,” said Jeffery.